For the past year, Google has been sending out link penalty notifications for unnatural links pointing to your web site. Those notifications kicked up a notch earlier this year and since then – especially with the Penguin update, webmasters and SEOs have been obsessed with link removals.
Link Removal Fees:
With this, there are many out there trying to capitalize on this fear. A reader sent us an example of a directory with a special landing page specifically designed to collect money from webmasters in order to remove links from their site. The site offers you to pay them and in exchange, they will remove the links they have pointing to your web site from their site. Yes, people are charging others to remove links that they put up.
The site reads:
We have been getting many requests for removal of links. We will happily do that for you. It is a manual process and we have about 100 directories.
* So for $25 we will remove your URL from all our 100 directories. You just need to pay on PayPal below * If you are just after the list of 100 or directories we have then the fee is a token $2 to stop all the freebee hunters. We need to live as well. * Do you want us to search our directories for your link and give you a report then that cost is $10. This is perfect for people with few resources to check themselves. Especially as there are 100 directories which takes time.
Here is a screen shot just in case they pull down the page:
This morning, I wrote about similar examples of link removal processing fees as reported by a few webmasters in the Google forums.
We’ve asked Google for a comment but we have not heard back as of yet.
Should You Pay For Link Removals?
Things you should know before you pay for a site to remove a link? There are alternatives. You can threaten to sue, you can wait for Google to release their disavow link tool (which Bing has already), you can relax and maybe feel that not all paid links hurt you but some are ignored or the most extreme is to 404 the page.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if paying a fee to remove the link is worth it. Or if one of the alternatives are better for you.
We hope to update this story with a comment from Google and what webmasters should do in this situation.